Together We Are A Force Award Winners

June 27, 2019

Together We Are a Force for Outdoor Participation Winner

Bam Mendiola, Bam Organization

Erika Haugen-Goodman, Jill Simmons, Kindra Ramos, Washington Trails Association

Tyler Ray, Mary Chandler Philpott & Kate Van Waes, American Hiking Society

The goal of the #expandthenarrative campaign is to hold space for the marginalized and underrepresented within the outdoor community in order to reduce barriers and increase access for all. The narratives also seek to create space for the next generation of outdoor leaders so that they may climb the literal and figurative mountains of the future.

The #expandthenarrative campaign features leaders who are changing the dominant narrative of what it means to be outside; it seeks to provide space and social capital to center the experiences of individuals from diverse backgrounds and social locations. The campaign focuses on the many social, systemic, and institutional barriers that keep the outdoors inaccessible to many communities. Leaders highlighted in the campaign share their experiences on partner organizations’ social media platforms, allowing a new audience to learn about these barriers and how to reduce them.

This collaborative effort is unique in that it provides an accessible, cost-effective opportunity for those who have faced barriers to outdoor recreation, service, and leadership to share their lived experience. Through social media dialog, the campaign raises awareness of these barriers and of the opportunities in harnessing diversity, amplifies the voices of those facing and breaking down barriers, celebrates and showcases the work of emerging Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) leaders, and invites new allies to mindfully join the cause. The campaign finds its strength through partnership between leaders in JEDI; impacted individuals; and outdoor organizations that seek to uplift their stories, out of a belief that all communities should have access to the outdoors—and feel represented, included, and safe.

The first #expandthenarrative campaign was launched with the help of Washington Trails Association on November 5, 2018. The American Hiking Society #expandthenarrative partnership began on April 8, 2019. Through the #expandthenarrative campaign, the Bam Organization hopes to continue seeing outdoor companies and organizations increase awareness of the barriers that many communities have when trying to get outside and participate in the outdoor industry.

The #expandthenarrative campaign has featured the following outdoor leaders:

Bam Mendiola – principal diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) consultant, Bam Organization

Vasu Sojitra – Adaptive skier, The North Face athlete and Earthtone Outside coordinator

Brittany Leavitt – Outdoor Afro & Brown Girls Climb leader and REI instructor

Pinar Sinopoulos-Lloyd – Ancestral skills guide, tracker and co-founder of Queer Nature

Rella Billie – Native Women’s Wilderness ambassador and tribal member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians

Sam Ortiz – Plus-size Latinx climber, outdoor photographer and body positivity activist

Nadia Mercado – Melanin Basecamp writer and Team Blackstar skydiver

Sarah Shimazaki – Outdoor media creative, registered yoga teacher and host of the upcoming Outdoor Voices podcast

Monserrat Matehuala – Outdoor program director for Brown Girls Climb and membership and communication associate for American Mountain Guides Association

CJ Goulding – Lead organizer for Natural Leaders Network

Jose Cabello – Latino Outdoors Humboldt County program coordinator and college student

Shon’t Savage – Board member for Adventure Mamas

Viv Leuche– Hiker, outdoor photographer, and medical doctor

Amanda Jameson – Board member for American Long Distance Hiking Association-West and American Hiking Society next gen trail leader

Julie Gardner – Founder, Vertical Generation


Together We Are a Force for Sustainability Winner

The Chemicals Management Guide & Training for Manufacturers

Mitch Krauss, Burton

Wendy Kan, Columbia

Joel Mertens, MEC

Todd Copeland, Patagonia

Genna Heath, REI

Tom Flicker, Target

The goal of the Chemicals Management Guide & Training for Manufacturers is to provide a singular tool, built collaboratively, for brands and manufacturers to use in getting started in the journey to better chemicals management.

Sound chemicals management practices are the foundation for manufacturing outdoor products with lowered negative impact on humans and environmental health. Managing chemicals correctly at the facility level reduces the risk of things like worker exposure, groundwater contamination in communities surrounding manufacturing facilities and PFC’s.

The group that built the Chemicals Management Guide & Training for Manufacturers is comprised of six brands from the OIA Sustainability Working Group that often compete in the marketplace for the same dollars and customers. However, upon seeing a problem that needed to be solved by collective action rather than individual, the brands came together to address it. Over the last two years, the group was mutually responsible for creating the guide’s content, rolling it out to suppliers and supporting brands looking to better the way they use chemicals in manufacturing.

Are you interested in making your supply chain more sustainable? Click to learn more about the Chemicals Management Guide & Training for Manufacturers and the OIA Sustainability Working Group.


Together We Are a Force for Policy Winner

The Land & Water Conservation Fund Coalition

Amy Lindholm, Appalachian Mountain Club

Lesley Kane, The Land & Water Conservation Fund Coalition

Marc Berekja, REI

Ross Saldarini, OIA Recreation Advisory Council Chair

Conrad Anker, The North Face

The Nature Conservancy

Trust for Public Lands

The goal of The Land & Water Conservation Fund Coalition is to support full and dedicated funding of the Land & Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

LWCF is America’s most important program to conserve irreplaceable lands and improve outdoor recreation opportunities throughout the nation. The program works in partnership with federal, state and local efforts to protect land in our national parks, national wildlife refuges, national forests, national trails, and other public lands; to preserve working forests and ranchlands; to support state and local parks and playgrounds; to preserve battlefields and other historic and cultural sites; and to provide the tools that communities need to meet their diverse conservation and recreation needs.

The LWCF Coalition is powerful because it brings together so many different people and organizations to collaboratively work to realize full, dedicated and permanent funding of LWCF. While the work to achieve the goal of full and permanent funding is ongoing, overall, the Coalition has been working together for about a decade to ensure LWCF remains a priority in Washington, D.C. The group continues to scale as more and more partner organizations join the cause. Click to view the full list of Land & Water Conservation Fund Coalition partners.

Click to get involved and support LWCF and the LWCF Coalition.